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U.S. Beef Lobby Wants 100% Tax on European Motorcycles Under 500cc … Seriously (News)

The EU doesn’t like U.S. beef, particularly beef treated with certain hormones. What does this have to do with motorcycles? At the moment, plenty.

As a result of an EU ban on importation of most U.S. bred beef, the beef lobby is petitioning the Office of United States Trade Representatives to retaliate by placing stiff tariffs on a list of European products. This list includes motorcycles (and mopeds) displacing 500cc and under. As a consequence, the KTM Duke 390 pictured above could cost roughly $20,000 in the United States. Ridiculous? Outrageous? Both. Please use the link in the AMA press release below to protest this absurdity. Here is the full press release:

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association strongly objects to a federal agency’s attempt to tack a 100 percent or higher tariff on motorcycles made in Europe as part of a trade battle over hormones in U.S. beef.

The Office of United States Trade Representative requested comments on Dec. 28 regarding its proposal to include tariffs on motorcycles with an engine size between 51cc and 500cc imported from the European Union.

The American Motorcyclist Association opposes the proposed tariff, because trade disputes residing within the boundaries of the agricultural industry should not be solved with trade sanctions levied against non-agricultural products.

“There is no logical link between motorcycles and beef,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president of government relations. “It is absurd to even consider such a move.

“We urge all concerned citizens to make their views known on this issue before the Jan. 30 deadline by using the AMA tools at”

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity and direct investment policy and overseeing negotiations with other countries. The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the president’s principal trade adviser, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.

If the agency enacts this motorcycle tariff, serious and potentially irreversible harm will be done to American small- and medium-sized business owners selling the vehicles and to American families who buy these motorcycles for commuting and outdoor recreation.

“Should the availability of motorcycles be hindered by these unjustified trade sanctions, dealerships may close, leaving countless Americans without jobs,” Allard said. “The negative effects of the proposed sanctions will not only harm the motorcycle sales industry, but will spread through the aftermarket equipment sector, recreation equipment sales, the sports entertainment industry and further down the line.”

Affected manufacturers include Aprilla, Beta. BMW, Ducati, Fantic, Gas Gas, Husqvarna, KTM, Montesa, Piaggio, Scorpa, Sherco, TM and Vespa.

The same agency tried the same tactic in 2008, but the effort was thwarted when the AMA, the Motorcycle Industry Council and bike manufacturers and retailers rallied motorcyclists against the plan. At that time, the U.S. Trade Representative instead raised the tariff on a variety of European food products.


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